Mitt Romney, a frequent critic of teachers' unions, has been handed plenty of ammunition by the Chicago teachers' strike, reports the Chicago Sun-Times. The unions "have too often made plain that their interests conflict with those of our children, and today we are seeing one of the clearest examples yet," he said before a Chicago-area fundraiser, accusing the unions—and President Obama—of turning their backs on students and parents. Paul Ryan even praised Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, saying Obama's former chief of staff is "right today in saying that this teachers' union strike is unnecessary and wrong."
But Emanuel didn't exactly lap up the praise from Romney and Ryan. If Romney wants to help Chicago students, "he will make sure that there will never be a cut in any education to pay for his tax cuts for the most fortunate," the mayor said. "While I appreciate his lip service, what really counts is what we’re doing here. And I don’t really give two hoots about national comments scoring political points or trying to embarrass—or whatever—the president." The White House, meanwhile, is doing its best to stay neutral. "I think it’s our view that the sides in this dispute in Chicago can and should work it out," a spokesman said.